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20 Helpful Fence Terms and What They Mean

Turner Fence aims to give our customers the best possible final products. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to express just what you want from the job. Don’t worry though—we’re giving you a resource to make the task easier. Look over these helpful fence terms and what they mean for a better grasp on your next fence project.

Section One: Fence Parts


You may hear about the gauge involved in your chain link fence. This refers to the wire, and just how thick it is. As an interesting addition, higher gauge levels actual denote a thinner kind of metal being used!


Ever notice a plank of wood running along the bottom of a fence? That’s a kickboard—though they also go by the name of “rotboards” too! They’re pressure-treated and can help make your fence last longer.


You’ve heard of the phrase “white picket fence” but do you know what a picket is? It’s just the main plank body comprising the fence! They are most commonly used in wood, aluminum, iron and vinyl fences.


We all need support—even our fences. That’s what the posts provide! You can recognize them by their size, since they’re taller and denser than the pickets.


See those horizontal pieces of wood running across a fence? Those are the rails. They help fences balance the weight on top of them.


As it turns out, this word has a very specific meaning in the world of fencing. A section is exactly measured as the area sitting inside two different fence posts.


Without trim, fences would look a lot less glamorous. The trim is composed of pieces of wood, and it helps camouflage the fasteners keeping your fence intact.

Section Two: Fence Features and Composition

Curved Tops

Wood and aluminum fences with curved tops present a special kind of flourish! They involve pickets that extend over the final rails and then curve.

Extended Tops

Are flat tops too basic but curved tops a bit overlong? Extended tops stretch over the rails, but stop there, making them a great middle option.

Flat Tops

If you prefer a simpler option, flat tops offer an orderly choice. Unlike extended tops, they stop at the final rail.


Rusting is not your fence’s friend! Prevent it by getting your iron or steel galvanized. That’s what happens when we add a product with zinc coating to the fence.

Privacy Slats

Privacy is essential! Your backyard is all yours—and privacy slats prevent neighbors from peeping.


If you want your wood fence to be a certain color, then you need a specific stain. This element will determine the shade of the wood comprising your fence. It also helps protect the wood too!


Not all land is even. Fences involving stepping adjust to that challenge with a descending or ascending, staircase-like build.

Wood Grade

Wooden fences earn their grade status based on what section of a tree they were cut from before being used. The closer they are to the inner circle of the trunk, the higher the grade they receive.

Section Three: Different Kinds of Fences, Defined

Good-Neighbor Fences

Some neighbors may decide to split the cost of their fence. With a good neighbor fence, everyone benefits. This equitable option switches off which side bears the picket and which bears the rail.

Ornamental Fencing

No, it’s not what occurs when you decorate a fence for the holidays! There are two kinds of ornamental fencing. One is made out of powder coated steel. The other kind looks like powder coated steel, but is made out of a powder coated, high-strength aluminum. Aluminum tends to be used more in a residential application, and steel in a commercial application.

Perimeter Fence

Next up on our list of fence terms and what they mean are perimeter fences. These creations are built along the farthest edges owned of a specific piece of land.


Enjoy the light streaming through your fence—and a fair bit of coverage too—with the carefully-conceived design of a semi-private fence.

Vinyl Coated

A vinyl fence is one with a vinyl coating applied. These typically imitate other fence designs, but have lower maintenance requirements.


You’re 20 steps closer to the perfect final product, thanks to the help of these fence terms and what they mean. Still looking for someone to actually build your fence? Contact us here or give us a call at (334) 444-9008! You can also find out more about the options we offer by reading through our blog.